tv Larry King Live CNN January 8, 2010 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
is another thing that i've resorted to just to get a fix from it. >> reporter: for now, padilla says catching her favorite chefs on a mini screen will have to do but she can't wait for the sweet sounds of her cooking numbers. >> welcome back. >> reporter: to echo again inside her home. kareen wynter, cnn, hollywood. >> that's it for us. larry king right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com tonight richard heene, the dad who led the whole country to believe his son was trapped in a runaway balloon. he's here, in his interview before he reports to jail this monday. >> this was not a hoax. >> larry: so what was it? heene tells us what really happened, and why he pled
guilty. >> i'm going to fight to the death on this thing. >> larry: and how the ordeal has impacted the whole family. the sheriff who once believed him, and the district attorney who prosecuted him will respond, all right now on "larry king live." good evening. two and a half months ago the whole country had t seems feared that a little boy in colorado had floated away in a balloon made by his father. it turned out that falcon heene was safe at home while authorities chased after the craft, hoping for a rescue. richard heene was prosecuted, will serve jail time for what some are calling a hoax. he's here with us tonight and wait until you see later what he brought with him. thanks for coming, richard. you do this 30 days of straight jail time and then what, 60 days of what do they call it? >> work release.
>> larry: you can work and go back to jail at night? >> correct. >> larry: nervous? >> i'm very nervous, because i'm going to be away from my family, and i've always been there to protect them, you know, be the father. >> larry: and you got three, right? >> i got three little boys. >> larry: your wife will serve after you're finished? >> right. >> larry: she'll do what, 20 days? >> 20 days of she spends the night at our house, goes there and does some work, comes back out so about eight hours a day. >> larry: think that's fair? >> i think it's very unfair, because what she got was a misdemeanor, and the plea deal was set up in such a way to where i thought she was not going to get any jail time, and i don't mind taking the jail time myself. they could have given me -- >> larry: you would do the extra 20. >> i would have. >> larry: that she got. authorities say the incident was a hoax planned and orchestrated by you and you pled guilty.
are you disputing that? >> i'm not disputing the fact that i did have to plead guilty, and when i say have to, i had to do it to save my family and my wife. >> larry: how so? >> the threat of deportation was eminent. >> larry: deporting who? >> my wife. >> larry: to where? >> japan. we had applied eight years ago for some paperwork, things got fouled up, we had to reapply. she should have been an american citizen by now but anyway, i can't break up my family. it would be absolutely disastrous to have dhs come in, regulate us. >> larry: so they told you if you don't plead guilty they would deport your wife? >> no, they never said that. but the topic came up. if we had endured, if i had said i'm not guilty, we would have to endure two to three years of the trial process. i wouldn't be able to go to work. who is going to hire me? and attorneys fees would be, you know, extremely high, my wife
would be going through this immense torture, my kids through school. did i want to put my kids through all that? i took the easy way out at this juncture, to go ahead and take that plea. >> larry: you and the wife were sentenced in late december. at the time your attorney said what you did was wrong and what had taken place was your fault. let's take a look at the brief statement you made to the court. watch. >> i'm very, very sorry and i'm going to apologize to -- all the rescue workers out there and the people that got involved in the community. >> larry: your attorney said you were wrong. obviously you did something wrong. obviously if the kid wasn't in and you knew he wasn't in. >> no, no, absolutely not.
>> larry: what -- >> first off, okay. i need to clarify when i apologized on the clip you just showed i was apologizing for people getting involved. okay? this was not a hoax. never was. >> larry: what was it? >> never was. >> larry: what was it? >> the incident that occurred, people are calling that a balloon it's not. it's a 3dlav. this is a family experiment. we do quite a few of these type of projects together. on that day, when falcon was in and out of this project, we told him many times to stay out, don't get in it. it's dangerous because things could happen so on that day, when we couldn't find him after it had taken off i was losing my mind, up and down this ladder, i gave you guys some footage that the police did not take. i don't know why they left this behind, it was sitting on the
table, a cam camera, four hours of footage which in my opinion would have shown that we were innocent, but we had searched the house, high and low, and -- i'm sorry. >> larry: it's okay. >> and after i saw him in this craft, and bradford telling me he went inside, i first didn't believe bradford and i told him that i thought perhaps he's around, i just saw him, and -- >> larry: sum and substance you believed your son was in the craft? >> i knew he was in the craft. >> larry: you didn't know it, because he wasn't. >> no, in my mind, in my mind. there was no other place because i visualized him, i yelled at him, and so i called the faa because when i was on the roof it was heading straight for the
airport and certified level one with the national association of rocketry, whenever you launch high-powered rockets you call for faa clearance, what i'm used to doing. >> larry: you also called the television station apparently? >> i called for a helicopter. i want to make that very clear. i called the faa. they told me, and i asked them if they had a helicopter, she told me i had to call 911. i called 911. i have given you guys the actual phone records to prove that, and this is what everybody's got all wrong. after the 9/11 call after two minutes of me talking about it, it went to ft. collins city. it was not recorded at larimer county. they transferred later on. so after i give the phone to mayumi you can hear me clearly in the background talking to what i say is the people in the helicopter. she handed me a phone and say call them. she didn't call channel 9 news.
>> larry: mayumi is your wife, took a polygraph test, showed deception on key questions. according to police she told them you and she had instructed your children to lie to authorities during and after the october 15th incident. police are saying that's what your wife told them. >> did you tell the boys what you were doing? >> we told them. >> and how did you get them to go along with it? did you ask them to act like their brother got up in the plane or up in the balloon? yeah. something like that. >> larry, you're asking the question, i'm going to go serve 90 days in their backyard and i will say that things were not portrayed as they really were. i've got audio and video comparing the two, and -- >> larry: it wouldn't have taken three years. you could have gotten, gone to
trial ask for a quick trial in this country. you could have gone to trial in 60 days. >> well -- >> larry: why didn't you fight it? >> david told me, he said, "richard, this will be an easier way out." >> larry: david is your lawyer? >> my attorney -- >> larry: even though you know you didn't do anything wrong? >> exactly. >> larry: your attorney advises to you say you did something wrong. >> no. >> larry: he then says you did something wrong? >> what he did was lay out the opportunities in front of me, and this goes back -- >> larry: he said you were wrong in court. >> my attorney said that? >> larry: yeah. >> i don't recall him ever saying that. >> larry: at least i -- all right, it was the crux of it here, on this show, the little falcon, wolf blitzer was hosting, your son made a comment that effectively blew the whistle on you eventually getting you in big legal trouble. we're going to talk about that right after this.
there is a little boy in this aircraft. >> search teams are scouring the area from the house in the direction that the balloon flew. >> we have confirmed outside the home that the child's name is falcon, he was on board the aircraft right now. >> he floated away from his family's home an experimental aircraft. >> the son is the one that came in and told them his brother had climbed in the basket when it took off. >> one of them crawled on board, the 6-year-old falcon and the other child watched it take off and ran in to tell his parents.
>> larry: just hours, we're back with richard heene, by the way if you just joined us. just hours after the balloon touched down it was found your son was hiding in the garage. your family appeared on the show, wolf blitzer was guest hosing. during the interview falcon said something that raised a whole lot of questions about what had really happened and why. let's take a look. >> and falcon did you hear us calling your name at any time? >> um-hum. >> you did? >> you did? >> why didn't you come out? >> you said that we did this for the show. >> no. >> you didn't come out? >> no. >> larry: authorities, richard, specifically cited falcon's words as part of probable cause they had for believing you'd committed a criminal offense. he said did you it for a show. >> okay, well first off, let's
take no consideration he's only been speaking english and just learned three and a half years prior to that. he's 6 years old during this interview. number one. number two, i had gotten back into the house, after the initial talking to the press in front of my house, i opened the garage door to get my family back inside, away from these guys and i look over and there's 30 or 40 camera guys. i asked falcon after that, i asked him, why did you say that? what are you talking about? he said a japanese cameraman with a giant camera asked him to show him how he got into the attic for his tv show, that's why fal on it answered that. >> larry: he didn't mean that you were doing it for a proposed tv show? >> no. >> larry: he was doing it to show them what he was doing? >> exactly, so he and bradford both were standing there, showing. >> larry: i'm back to the original. why the hell did you plead guilty then if all of these
circumstances are true you had a story to tell. why didn't you tell if. >> well again it goes back to saving my family. >> larry: from what? >> the threat of my wife being deported. >> larry: you said they never made that specific threat. >> well, when we sat down with lee christiansen and david lane -- >> larry: the prosecutors? >> the attorneys, i never got to speak to the prosecutors, by the way, but they both laid it out and they said, look, public opinion has been swayed, the media is against you, and the threat of deportation and i'm thinking where are we going to find 12 jurors anywhere who is going to think that, you know, they're not going to hold a middle ground. they've already been swayed. >> larry: you gave us you mentioned home video of the balloon taking off. let's watch your home video. >> three, two, one! >> one! whoa! >> oh, my god. are new there?
get the tether [ bleep ] now. >> i did, i did. i did. >> come on, man! >> dad, dad! >> mayumi, get the [ bleep ] tether now. mayumi i told to you tie down the [ bleep ] tethers. >> i did. >> no, you never listen to a [ bleep ] i say. the whole [ bleep ] thing gone. shut [ bleep ]. >> falcon's in there. >> where? >> in the ship? >> he was just here. >> no, he's in there. >> what? >> he's in there, i saw him crawl in. >> no, he's not. >> yeah. >> he was just right here. >> no. >> duncan. >> no there. >> larry: the kid who told you he saw falcon in there, what did
he see? >> well, i think the last thing he literally saw -- >> larry: couldn't have seen falcon in there? so why was the kid yelling "i see falcon in there" he said that. >> falcon walked up to him and said he was going to sneak inside, after four or five times of me telling him not to go in there. he's known to go and hide. this is what he does, likes to hide. >> larry: the kid didn't see him go in there. >> he saw him go in there. >> larry: then what? >> we went outside and took a break when the incident occurred. i didn't see him going in, and after the break, we had two sliding glass doors, brad ford ran around the one side, he was going to tell me that he was in there, and he never did indicate anything to me, so he forgot, i don't know what happened, but
and then when we were going to test the levitation of this thing. >> larry: so you're swearing that none of that was staged? >> no, nothing. >> larry: you didn't do that film? >> not at all. >> larry: there's the kid yelling that he's on the craft. when's not on the craft. looks suspicious. >> i'm not following you. >> larry: well, the kid is yelling, "falcon's on the" whatever you call it. >> right. >> larry: right, but he wasn't. >> well, according to bradford, he absolutely knew that he was inside. so evidently it was a little thing -- >> larry: bradford was mistaken. rich brought us something to show you, wait until you see it. don't go away. (announcer) take your time to find the right time
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we did this for a show. >> yeah. >> authorities say this whole thing was an elaborate hoax, it was scripted by the boy's dad, richard heene. >> in terms of this being an alleged hoax this is what millions of people had suspected all along. >> was this some sort of publicity stunt a hoax? >> absolutely no hoax. >> it wasn't until the larry king show where the family was interviewed that we had the first a-ha moment. >> larry: we're back with richard heene. let's go back to october 15th, here's some of the 911 call that you made that day. >> my family and i made an experimental flying saucer, it wasn't supposed to fly. >> okay. >> it's tethered down. >> okay. >> and my, i think my 6-year-old boy -- >> what's wrong? >> got inside, and it took off,
yeah. >> okay, where is he at? >> he's in the air. >> he's in the air? >> yeah. he's only 6. he's only 6. >> larry: by the way, just so we set this record straight under the terms of your sentence you can't get any form of financial benefit, "larry king live" doesn't pay for interviews so just to confirm you are not paid to be here. >> i'm not paid to be here. we drove here. >> larry: all right. well, the morning after your family's interview on "larry king live" you all did several other tv shows. it became clear falcon wasn't feeling well. let's take a look at that. >> i feel like i'm going to vomit. >> oh. >> are you okay, buddy? >> no. >> yeah, he's, i think he's queasy. >> larry: why didn't you cut that off, when he got sick? why didn't you end the tv interview? >> i wanted to but there was somebody on the side telling me
to go back, go back. >> larry: even though your kid's sick? >> i know. >> larry: they don't rule you. >> that's true but i didn't know -- and the other thing, i only had one hour of sleep, so we had camera people out in front of our house, lights shining through my window, i couldn't sleep and they tell us we got to wake up early in the morning or i'm trying to think of which one this is, this is the morning? >> larry: i guess, yeah. >> okay so by that time, i had one hour of sleep, you know. >> larry: is it true, richard that, you were looking to do some sort of reality show? >> from this thing? no. >> larry: from -- you wanted to be on television, you wanted to have some sort of reality show? >> no, no, let me clarify that. we were asked to be on abc's "wives swap" therm looking for a storm chase family, it was presented to us so we thought that sounds like it might be fun. i didn't know what the show was about and i'm not about to swap my wife out for something weird, and it turns out the show was good so i thought well there's a message at the end and they
invited us to be back on a second time. they also thought of a great idea to give us our own show so they asked me to put together some ideas. i had worked my tail off putting together some ideas to submit it to them and i mean, that's the way that whole -- >> no connection to this? >> no, salute floi koex. >> larry: you also apparently just to set the record straight, called a tv station, kusa in denver, lots of reports that you called the faa and the tv station before 911. >> that's not true. that's an out and out lie. i'm saying that's a lie because i have the actual interview when i was beingber viewed by the police in the interrogation and i told them exactly how i made the phone calls an hour later they're filling out paperwork telling a judge the opposite. they're the ones that said that. i've never said that. i know how i made the phone calls. anyway, i gave you guys the tape to show it and i gave you the text to show how they submitted it. >> larry: how is your family doing? how is falcon doing?
is he taking the blame for this or too young to? >> no, no. i mean my kids are doing great. they weren't harassed in school, and one kid asked him, you know, a question about it and that's been it. >> larry: the larimer county sheriff, jim allegederman raised another red flag during a news conference october 18th, the same day he announced the balloon incident had been determined to be a hoax. let's watch him. >> clearly from all indications mr. heene has somewhat of a temper. we did our best yesterday prior to releasing them to get the spouse to voluntarily go to a safe house. we had victim advocates, we talked with her at length about domestic violence, about her safety, about the children's safety. >> larry: are you a violent person, do you get angry ease still in. >> i get angry within myself. i get frustrated with myself, but i don't get angry at my
wife, i don't get angry with my kids and if i'mage with my kids it's that, you know, they're fighting. >> larry: you don't yell at your wife or your children? >> i raise my voice but i don't yell. you understand the difference, right? okay, but i'm not a violent man. so for them to, for you guys to bring this up, it was trash. >> larry: okay i'm just telling you what the sheriff brought up, in his investigation he brought it up. richard, by the way, engineered the balloon. you don't call it a balloon? >> it's not a balloon, not a weather balloon. it's got nothing to do with weather. >> larry: it's from common household items. we'll see how he put it all together ahead.
joining us for a few moments is rupert hitsick, lives in los angeles a friend of the heene family working on a project including a book, he doesn't think this was a hoax. he's had successful movies on his own, but why do you not believe what the authorities have said? >> based on the character that i know, and i know mayumi better than i know richard because mayumi was my editor for four years, an excellent editor. while mayumi was editing my films i was in a place close to richard and his three boys and it's an extremely strong and unique family unit, and i even asked richard why he wasn't, he was dreaming, he always dreamed about new projects and new projects, and they were having some financial problems, and i asked richard why he wasn't working at something that could
bring his family some relief. he said well i'm a carpenter but i need a truck and i thought enough of richard at that point to go down to toyota and cosign for a $36,000 tundra and that was in 2004 and every payment has been made on time, and i just think that -- >> larry: what do you make of this story in. >> i wasn't there. i just know that falcon -- they arrived yesterday, staying in our back house, the three boys are just wonderful kids. the family unit is a great little family unit. when falcon was there, it was the most unique thing that happened. i was showing them the back and all of the sudden falcon was missing. mayumi said where is falcon. the boys looked around. we didn't find falcon. he had climbed into some, past our lattice work under the foundation and hiding. look, i'm a little bit off track for your question, and the question is, why do i believe it's not a hoax, because mayumi told me we did not lie. i believe mayumi. >> larry: one other thing to
you, rupert, why do you think? >> i think it's a difference between the chance of having the felony charge and the misdemeanor. i think in his particular case he just wanted it behind him, i think. i can't speak for richard. >> larry: it may be the case here tonight he's making the case here tonight that he's innocent. >> i know, if in fact the deportation was a threat, and if the chance of being accused of going to trial for a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor and deportation was the alternative, he wanted it out of the way as fast as he could. >> larry: you do chase things. why didn't you chase, what do you call it if you don't call it a balloon? >> 3d lav, low altitude vehicle. >> larry: why didn't you chase him? >> my wife was charging up the cell phone. i thought i should chase it. maybe i should inform authorities it's going to be the airport. after the faa called i wanted to jump in the vehicle and go and
the woman said no, you better call 911. i said i want to chase this thing. she said call 911. >> the woman with the faa. >> larry: what woman? >> the woman with the faa. i did have a rodder you can play all that. i was there in length, 15, 20 minutes and then i -- >> larry: if you did chase things wouldn't that be the first thing you would do, chase for your boy? >> it's what i wanted to do. when i climbed on the roof and saw this thing taking off, gaining altitude, and speed, and headed straight for the airport, all i could think about is i got to warn somebody because i've just built this craft that could possibly kill my kid, and i just wanted him safe, and anyway. >> i did see the records, larry, and i do know he made the call to 911 first, then he called the faa -- >> larry: he didn't call the tv station. >> for a good 15 minutes. >> larry: let's get a break and come right back and show you what this is like, he'll show us
where he thought falcon was. look at it. we're going to go take a look at it right after this. a.j.? (alarm blasting) (screaming) (phone rings) hello? this is bill with broadview security. is everything okay? no. there's this guy - he just smashed in my door. i'm seúling help right now. thank you. (announcer) brink's home security is now broadview security. call now to install the standard system for just $99. the proven technology of a broadview security system delivers rapid response from highly-trained professionals, 24 hours a day. call now to get the $99 installation, plus a second keypad installed free. and, you could save up to 20% on your homeowner's insurance. call now-- and get the system installed for just $99. broadview security for your home or business-- the next generation of brink's home security. call now.
okay we're back with richard heene and right behind us is a replica of the notorious flying saucer, for want of a better term we'll call it, balloon. where is the original? >> the police have that in a garage. >> larry: all right, they have it as evidence or was going to be evidence? >> was going to be. >> larry: this replica is the same size? >> identical, i used the same exact jig to manufacturer this one, to show you i was never lying about the size of it. >> larry: looks like aluminum foil. >> this is the standard
household aluminum foil, the plastic is .7 mil plastic drop. what i want to show everybody -- >> larry: wait a minute, someone would go in this and you would go in this and go up? >> this is a smaller version of what i ultimately want to make. i want to make a 30-foot one which could lift a human and maybe have races in the desert between people. >> larry: but this flies? >> yes. >> larry: okay. what do you want to show me? >> i wanted to show you i was never lying about the mesh umplt. measurements. everybody's questioning could this hold up a little boy. we'll measure half of the length of just one span, what do you have? >> larry: i got 121. >> 121, that's ten feet, okay so you multiply that by two, 20 foot across and when i'm standing in the middle i'm 5'8" it's quite higher than i am. i never did lie. >> larry: they said you were
lying about that a kid could go up in it? >> they said a professor jones from uc -- was it csu, sorry, and they said his original mesh umplts said it could lift a child. later on in the garage they claimed it's 15 feet wide by 5 feet wide. with the bands they expands up to 6'9". >> larry: what is this? >> the utility xamplt, 1'6" high and a four foot circling. >> larry: how do we know it's the same size? i'll take your word? >> well, you could, okay, that's four feet across. anybody who knows photoshop could take the images off the television, measure the four feet at the base, piece it in, one, two, three four five across and you'll see it's 20 feet. why they had mismeasured it in the garage, i have no idea but i looked at the wall span and looked to me like the room was only 16 feet wide they didn't open it up. >> larry: you wouldn't get into
this to go up will you? >> i will once i determine whether or not i have enough power to move left and right, eventually a 30-footer could lift 450 pounds. >> larry: does the opening to the xamplt close automatically. >> it was a piece of cardboard. >> larry: authorities and many aviation experts do not think this balloon could have had the lift to take off and fly with a child of falcon's size in it. >> when you calculate how much helium that the 6' to 6'6" center by 20 feet across plus the fact it was ballooned between the ribs i calculate it could lift 72 pounds but the helium kept going past where i thought it was going to be. i didn't know how much it had, perhaps it had 1,100 cubic feet in there, but this portion right here weighs 19 pounds. that with the framing in it weighed up to 11 pounds. >> larry: sure feels a little
flimsy. i wouldn't go up in this. >> a lot people would say has. >> larry: i wouldn't go up in anything. >> each string can lift 70 pounds, there's 19 around the outer perimeter, we calculated roughly 1,300 pounds of strength tension. the bottom wouldn't hold that much as far as the plywood is concerned. >> larry: couple other quick things. are you sorry you pled guilty? >> i am sorry that i pled guilty. i wish i could have taken this thing to trial. i kept asking over and over why should i plead guilty. if i put my family two to three years of torture potentially. i was going to fight to the death on this thing, and i just don't want to put my kids through that. >> larry: what are you going to do when you're done with your 90-day commitment? >> i've got to start a new life. this is just a negative setback, and i'm hoping to clear my name to let everybody know this was not a hoax. >> the you're going to keep living the way you're living?
>> i don't know. depends on how the people treat me. if they treat me nasty i guess i've got to up and leave but so far they've been pretty good. >> larry: you'll be in a jail, not a prison. 90 days you don't go to prison. >> david says that's one of the better jails i won't get beat up. >> larry: why would you get up? >> i don't know, i watch movies and see people getting beat up. >> larry: thanks for coming. >> thank you. >> larry: good luck to you. >> larry: the sheriffs and roh prosecutor have been watching to richard heene and listening closely to what he just said and tell us what they think next.
breaking news just ahead on "360." after five days of searching for the man who caused the security breach that shut down newark airport, this man is now in custody and being questioned. we have details ahead. our other breaking news a grand jury is calling witnesses to investigate the white house party crashers. reports tonight two stylists who were with the salahis before the dinner received subpoenas, what kind of trouble the couple could be in. personal finance guru suze orman shares what you need to know and the three things she cannot live without, those stories just ahead the top of the hour. he's been hiding in a box, cart cardboard box in the attic above the garage. >> i was in the attic and it scared me because he yelled at me. >> i'm really sorry i yelled at him.
>> we got him. >> you scared the heck out of us. >> larry: we're joined by two men who know this case inside and out, sheriff jim aldernan the sheriff of larimer county, colorado, and larry abramson, district attorney they come to us from ft. collins. sheriff, what's your reaction to what mr. heene had to say tonight? >> well, i just saw the interview that you did with him a few minutes ago and quite honestly i'm shocked that he would make such statements. the evidence against mr. heene and mayumi at this point is really overwhelming. there's no doubt in my mind that this thing was a hoax, and i really doubt that there's very few people in america who don't understand at this point that this was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by richard and mayumi. >> larry: larry, what do you make of what he said?
>> well, it's hard to understand why he is now saying what he's saying, because this is something that was discussed very thoroughly with his attorneys, and i was under the impression, as were the other prosecutors in my office, that this was, the hoax was very clearly established, and so it is surprising that now he is coming out and saying that he was coerced or whatever reason he is now changing his position. >> larry: richard heene as we know pled guilty after his sentencing last month. he offered a short teary apology. let's look at what he said and when i asked him about it. watch. >> i need to clarify when i apologized on the clip you just showed i was apologizing for people getting involved, okay? this was not a hoax. never was. >> larry: what was it? >> never was. >> larry: what do you make of him saying sheriff he was apologizing for apparently other
things? >> well, when you listen to the interview closely, i guess you could infer that or at least make that argument from his standpoint, but if you back up to the previous hearings where he actually entered the guilty plea, he had to stipulate at that point that there was a factual foundation for the charges and for his guilty plea, and he did so on that date, so i think this is just an effort on his part to spin what he said and to try to rehabilitate his image. >> larry: he and his wife, larry, took polygraphs, true? >> that's correct. >> larry: and what were the results of those polygraphs? >> well, when the polygraphs were taken, they both, hers was deceptive, and so then very shortly after that was when she basically made her statement, and admitted that the whole thing was a hoax and that it was planned by her and her husband, and the kids were also informed
what have they were going to do. his polygraph i don't think was completed, because the fact that he was doing some things that would make it unreliable so i don't think his was ever completed. >> larry: after the sentencing, both of you indicated you thought it was appropriate. have you changed your mind on that based on what he's saying now, do you think he, having to do it over again, sheriff, he should get more time? >> no, i really don't think so. i mean, this was a giant hoax perpetrated on everybody. i think people are upset about it. obviously there's a lot of resources that were wasted, but the fact is, as overcrowded as our jails are, as overcrowded as our judicial system is, you know, a longer jail sentence really wouldn't serve the interests of justice and i think it's fair, given the issues and complexity of the things that we're dealing with here in our criminal justice system. >> larry: what about the statement, larry, that they were going to deport his wife?
>> well, initially the news report was, and i believe it was a statement, and i don't know if it came from his attorney or where, that they were concerned about her being deported if she pled to a felony and they were being forced into this plea. her deportation was never an issue on the table. that was something they perhaps talked about among themselves but it was nothing we laid on the table and said listen, this is what we need to have, this is what you're risking. this was something apparently they had discussed, but it was never a bargaining chip from our perspective, and i don't think it even came up in discussions other than perhaps they're trying to figure out if that was a possibility. >> larry: we'll be right back with the response to the heene interview from sheriff jim alderden and district attorney larry abramson after this.
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>> larry: sheriff alder derks n held several news conferences as the balloon boy case unfolded in october. not everything he said to the media was totally accurate. then he knew it. we have two clips. the first october 16th. the day after the incident. the second the 18th. the day the sheriff declared it all had been a hoax. watch. >> we were convinced yesterday after talking to the parents and having investigators on scene during the duration of this event that the parents were being honest with us. it's not a criminal offense to,
perhaps, lie to them to get them in here or establish a relationship to get them in here. i personally have to say i feel very bad and i think we came up and bumped against the line of misleading the media, and that is something i really take to heart that we don't do. >> larry: sheriff, what happened in the two days? >> well, on the first day when we approached the media and dealt with them, the investigators really did believe that this thing still was legitimate and that it was not a hoax. some of us had our doubts, but, you know, it was really kind of a split decision. we decided we needed to get the heenes in here and gain their cooperation in order to, perhaps, polygraph them and get a confession. that was the only way we were going to get to the bottom of this. if i had put out anything to the media that would cause the heenes to suspect that we suspected them i think we would have lost that cooperation. it was real important for me to at least put on a face to the
public that we didn't have any real legitimate suspicion s at that point. obviously some of us did, when they came in and confessed it was necessary to reveal the hoax. maybe i should have kept my mouth shut and not been honest and told everybody that we had our doubts. that's not the way we operate. i'm culpable for that. in the interest of justice i felt it was necessary to do that at that time. >> larry: you appeared to be between a rock and hard place. do you think the media understand that? >> i think the majority of the media did. i have several high-profile media personalities in colorado contact me and tell me it was acceptable and quite honestly immediately after our first conference i confided in several of the media people about what our doubts were and the fact that -- what the strategy was to get them in. >> larry: we'll be right back with sheriff jim aldrerden after this.
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>> larry: larry abrahamson, what is your opinion of mr. heene? what do you think of him? >> well, it -- you know, all i know of him is what i've seen and what i observed in the courtroom. what i've seen on the media. but from what i understand he's an actor. he's taken acting lessons. he originally came up with the hoax idea that was later shown to be untrue. and now he's sort of back pedalling again and for what reason i'm not sure. he claims it's because he's trying to protect his wife, but that was pretty well aired in the discussion with his attorney and his attorneys' discussions
with him i'm sure. you know, i'm not sure what his motivation is at this point. i thought this thing had ended in a way that everybody was reasonably satisfied with the conclusion, and now this. so i'm not sure where he's going with this. >> larry: sheriff, do you ever feel a little sorry for him? he certainly appears good at getting empathy. >> well, he does. no, i have not empathy or sympathy for the heenes at this point. he put this whole thing in motion. i think maybe there's an adage about being careful what you wish for. he wanted publicity and he certainly got it. i'm not sure it's the kind he wanted. >> larry: what would you guess is the long-range effect, larry, on the kids? >> well, that's hard to say. you know, the department of human services interviewed the kids, and they felt that at this point in time at least there wasn't any compelling reason to take them out of the home, but,
you know you, think something that has this much exposure in the media and everything going on around the family that the kids are going to have a reaction somehow. i would hope that the kids can see this for what it is and that it's not going to affect them. i'm concerned, now, of course, with the new statements that mr. heene is making and how confused the kids must be about all of this. so, you know, it's hard to say. i would hope it's not going to have an effect that's going to be disastrous on the kids or something that's going to cause difficulty. you know, it's hard to say at this point. >> larry: sheriff, where will he serve his time? >> well, he'll do his 30 days right next to the building we're in now, larry, at the larimer county detention center, and after the 30 days i assume he's going to go to work release if he qualifies. that will be in a building or
actually an addition to the jail. it's a nonsecure facility. and he'd be allowed to go to his day job and then return at night. >> larry: that starts monday. what if he doesn't have a day job? >> well, if he doesn't have a day job there's a possibility he could just have to do the straight 90 days in the detention center instead of being in work release. >> larry: and will the wife serve in the same place? >> she'll serve in the same place or at least checking in. i believe she's going to go to a program we call work enders which is different. those are inmates who come in usually on a saturday morning. they're sent out on an inmate work crew working for public service agencies or non-profits, and for eight hours then they come back. they're released. they go home. they come back the next day and do that two days a week until their sentence is served. >> larry: thank you both very much for clearing things up. sheriff jim rm